February 18, 2003
HEALTH DEPARTMENT TO EMPHASIZE IMPORTANCE OF DENTAL CARE
Charlotte, NC - Mecklenburg County Health Department dentists and staff will provide free treatment as part of a nationwide campaign to raise awareness about the importance of dental health. February is National Children's Dental Health Month, and "Give Kids a Smile!" is a nationally recognized day for dental access activities set to take place in Mecklenburg County and across the country on Friday, February 21.
North Carolina State Representative Beverly M. Earle will also visit the Health Department's dental clinic at CMC Biddle Point.
Through screening efforts at Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, Mecklenburg County Health Department dental hygienists Lynn Cook, Anne Reary, and Peggy Rohleder have identified a targeted group of school children who will be treated at the private offices of participating Charlotte area dentists.
Throughout the year, dentists and staff at the Mecklenburg County Health Department provide educational outreach such as tooth-brushing demonstrations, screenings, preventive care and treatment to underserved school children. Friday's opportunity is unique in that patients are ordinarily assessed a fee for clinic services based on their income level. Patients targeted for this opportunity are those who have no insurance and are at the lowest percentage level of the Health Department's sliding fee schedule.
The Health Department's Pediatric Dental Services are available to any child 15 years or younger. All routine dental treatment is available. Braces and root canals on permanent molar and premolar teeth will not be provided. Preventive services include exams, x-rays, cleanings, sealants, fluoride treatments, and one-on-one education about oral health. The clinic is open from 8:00am to 5:00pm Monday through Friday. Appointments can be made by calling 704-350-7300 on Monday, Wednesday, or Friday.
The American Dental Association (ADA) created "Give Kids a Smile!" as an annual vehicle to focus national attention on the epidemic of oral disease affecting children from low-income families and to build support for public and private solutions that will help these children get regular dental care. Former ADA President, Dr. Greg Chadwick, a Charlotte endodontist and long-term part-time faculty member in the Department of Oral Medicine at Carolinas Medical Center, strongly supports the initiative.